My TimeHop app reminded me this week that we’d been to London Zoo this time two year’s ago to see the newborn tiger cubs - as it turned out we only got to see them via a video monitor - so what better opportunity to revisit with the added delight of taking our friend to see her first zoo!
Now I will say right away that i’m a bit conflicted about zoos: Some of those we’ve been to have enclosures far too small and - while I try to respect the animals privacy and personal space - i’m always annoyed by the visitors who press their noses up at the glass and tease the animals. On the flip side, zoos do a lot of conservation work and as morally questionable as it is to use animals to entice paying customers in, it keeps that work going.
London Zoo is currently building a new enclosure for Asiatic Lions, of which there are only 500 left in the wild. I spent a little bit more on FastTrack tickets this time which turned out to be a good choice: we entered the zoo quickly and from a different angle, which completely changed the order of the exhibits. We did a loop of one half of the zoo first, taking in the penguins, butterflies, bugs, monkeys and meerkats.
The monkeys were my favourite as it was an open walkthrough of their habitat. The cute but cheeky Black Capped Squirrel Monkeys were leaping around everywhere we looked. [gallery type=“rectangular” ids=“6304,6305,6307,6306,6310,6309,6308,6313,6312,6311,6321,6323,6324,6325,6326,6314,6315,6316,6317,6318,6319,6320”]
We decided to stop for lunch and - finding The Terrace restaurant very busy - opted for Afternoon Tea in the adjoining sun room. We had a selection of savoury and sweet treats including sandwiches, cream scones and lemon meringue pie. All washed down with Tea Pigs tea :) [gallery type=“columns” ids=“6328,6330,6329,6327”]
After a long break and good conversation we looped through the rest of the zoo including the tigers - it turns out the cubs are now in other zoos! - the aquarium, african animals, night life and rainforest areas, before finishing at gorilla kingdom and the gift shop. [gallery type=“rectangular” ids=“6331,6332,6333,6334,6335,6336,6337,6338,6339,6340,6341,6342,6343,6344,6345,6346,6347,6348,6349”]
The weather wasn’t as nice as last time but the cold didn’t dampen our spirits too much. I think we saw most of the animals in the zoo and, although some were sleeping or sheltering from the cold, it was exciting nonetheless. The pair of us have spent today lazing around with sore feet and the sniffles but it was worth it :) [caption id=“attachment_6322” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”] Our newest addition: ‘Lenny the Lemur’[/caption]